$1.5 Billion for the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Initiative

NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Initiative focuses on testing technologies for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus

health care worker with a vial of testing covid-19

Today, our nation is in the midst of trying to contain a most formidable health threat: the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. 

‘I’m convinced that biomedical technology has a vital role to play in this urgent effort, which is why the NIH today launched the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Initiative,’ said Dr. Francis S. Collins, the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in a blog issued on April 29, 2020.

‘If all goes well, RADx aims to support innovative technologies that will make millions of more rapid SARS-CoV-2 tests available to Americans by late summer or fall.’

‘Fueled by a bold $1.5 billion investment made possible by federal stimulus funding, RADx is an urgent call for science and engineering’s most inventive and visionary minds—from the basement to the board room—to develop rapid, easy-to-use testing technologies for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.’ 

‘To achieve this, NIH will work closely with our colleagues at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

‘Such widespread testing, which will facilitate the speedy identification and quarantine of infected individuals and their contacts, will likely be a critical component of making it possible for Americans to get safely back into public spaces, including returning to work and school.’

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‘As for the NIH’s RADx, our aim is to speed the development and commercialization of tests that can rapidly “see” if people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 with very high sensitivity and specificity, meaning there would be few false negatives and false positives.’

While RADx is focused on diagnostic testing, the NIH is also intensely engaged in developing safe, effective therapies and vaccines for COVID-19. 

One innovative effort, called Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV), is a public-private partnership that aims to speed the development of ways to treat and prevent this disease that’s caused so much suffering and death around the globe.

‘So, to the science and engineering community, I have these words: Let’s get going—our nation has never needed your skills more,’ concluded Dr. Collins, a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project.

Coronavirus Today publishes breaking news related to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.